Dell is launching a trio of new Windows tablets that show that the big PC company is still waging war against Apple’s iPad. Each of the new tablets is like a standard Windows tablet, but they come with some extras created by Dell to differentiate its offerings.
These kinds of tablets — starting as low as $199 — represent the tech company’s best efforts to tempt shoppers and corporate workers into taking the tablet plunge during the holidays. The Windows tablets have the new Intel RealSense Snapshot Depth Camera. The camera can recognize your gestures, measure the length of items in front of it, and focus your images better. You could, for instance, look at a photo of a person in front of the Golden Gate Bridge. If the person is in focus and the bridge isn’t, you can change it, so that the bridge is in focus and the person isn’t. And you can add effects to the images using your fingers.
The new touchscreen tablets include the Windows 8.1-based Dell Venue 8 Pro 3000 series, which has an 8-inch high-definition display with a resolution of 1280 x 800. It has an Intel quad-core Atom (Bay Trail) processor and 1 gigabyte of main memory. It has a 32-gigabyte hard drive, WiFi with Miracast, lots of SD and USB ports, and a 1.2 megapixel camera in the front and a 5-megapixel camera in the back. It weights 391 grams, and it will cost $200, down from $300 for last year’s model.
“We are heading to a market with tablet first, laptop second,” said Kelli Hodges, global tablet marketing manager at Dell, in an interview with VentureBeat.
The company is showing off the new devices at its Dell World 2014 event in Austin, Texas. Dell is also unveiling the Dell Venue 11 Pro 7000 Series, which has a 10.8-inch full high-definition screen. It can be attached to accessories like a mobile keyboard, which folds so that the whole thing looks like a thin laptop. It can be docked in a desktop docking station with dual monitors, or be used in tablet mode with finger touches or a stylus. It has MaxxAudio by Waves sound, and an Intel Core M processor, which uses so little power that the device can get by without a fan.
Dell also has the Dell Venue 8 7000 Series, an Android tablet with an 8.4-inch screen. It’s only 6 millimeters thick, and it has a 2560 x 1600 organic light-emitting display (OLED) with extremely sharp imagery. The screen can display more than 4 million pictures. The Dell Venue 11 Pro 7000 Series will cost $700.
Starting in December, the Windows tablets will make use of a clever new Dell Gallery feature for viewing photos. It does a lot more than the filing system of the Android basic gallery. The Dell Gallery lets you find photos using face recognition. It automatically creates albums of your friends using Facebook tags. And it brings the photos of people in your life together into one timeline. So it becomes much easier to view photos, organized by where you took them, when you took them, or who’s in the photos.
The tablets can make use of a previously announced screen-mirroring technology, dubbed Dell Cast. That allows you to take the screen of the tablet and display it on a much bigger monitor or television. With a wireless-docking technology, you can now organize titles, multiple browsers, and create and edit documents using a monitor, keyboard, and mouse. The tablet supplies the computing power. It gives you a big-screen, 1080p high-definition experience, using an HDMI adaptor and a software application. Compared to earlier technologies, it also has low-latency, for less hesitation and better response times.
“I can take my tablet aside, use my keyboard and mouse to make edits to a spreadsheet or do my email,” said Hodges. “Before, I would have to wake up the laptop, make changes, send it to my boss, and then go back to my tablet.”
Above: Dell’s Android and Windows-based Venue tablets.
Image Credit: Dean Takahashi
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